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Starburst Channels
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Starburst Channels

December 17, 2007

Translucent carbon dioxide ice covers the polar regions of Mars seasonally. It is warmed and sublimates (evaporates) from below, and escaping gas carves a numerous channel morphologies.

In this example the channels form a "starburst" pattern, radiating out into feathery extensions. The center of the pattern is being buried with dust and new darker dust fans ring the outer edges. This may be an example of an expanding morphology, where new channels are formed as the older ones fill and are no longer efficiently channeling the subliming gas out.